Medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks, the majority of which are used for freight movement, are significant contributors of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. As a result, areas close to freight hubs such as ports, railyards, and distribution centers often experience elevated levels of diesel-related air pollution. There is great potential in applying connected vehicle (CV) technology to reduce the environmental and health impacts of freight vehicles on the designation of disadvantaged communities (DACs).
One such application is eco-routing that determines a travel route between an origin and a destination that would make the vehicle consume the least amount of fuel. This project aimed to develop new vehicle routing algorithms for heavy-duty diesel trucks that would reduce the exposure of local residents to air pollutant emissions from these trucks, and to evaluate the benefits of the new vehicle routing algorithms in terms of reductions in air pollutant exposure. Simulation-based experiments were conducted using the Reseda-Northridge area of Southern California as a case study to evaluate the potential benefits of this air pollution mitigation strategy. The studied area features a road network with a variety of road types (freeways, arterials, collectors, etc.) and has densely populated communities with a large fraction of children and seniors who are more sensitive to air pollution. The year 2010 was selected based on consideration of the best availability of the full range of data (e.g., 2010 U.S. Census) at the time of conducting this study.
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